My name is Harry Nakashian Jr., and I am an American of Armenian heritage. I had the idea in 2004 to do something that would honor the memory of my parents, Harry and Loretta Nakashian. I wanted to do something that reflected their values of generosity and love of children. I also wanted to do something that was direct, and something that I could be involved with, rather than just donate something to a group that may not represent my wishes. It almost naturally followed that I combined my love of travel with the idea to find a poor family in an Armenian village and impact their lives in a positive way. This included basic housing needs, medical attention where needed, warm clothes for winter, and most importantly, formal education for the children so that they can acquire vocational skills and a job that will help them become independent.
While applying for my travel visa in the spring of 2004, I met an Armenian girl also applying at the Consulate Office in Los Angeles. Lianna had an aunt who lived near a poor village and she introduced me to several families before I finally chose the family I wanted to assist. I felt very good about my choice and I felt especially good that this is a family I would get to know, and that I could watch the progress they make.
I have now been to Armenia several times since that first trip in 2004, and it has been a very satisfying experience for me. We hope that what we are doing can inspire and serve as a model for others who understand the value of real help, and recognize the continuing needs of Armenians who live in many poor villages throughout the country.
Harry Nakashian 3 January 2008